As The Savvy Couple saving money and living frugally comes second nature to us. This article will offer some great advice on how to reduce monthly bills quick and easy.
Monthly bills can be some of the most expensive things we pay on a regular basis. Since most monthly bills are recurring they sometimes get overlooked and can add up very quickly in your monthly budget. I have decided to put a list together of some of the things we do every month to reduce our monthly bills.
- Reduce your air conditioner use in the summer and your furnace in the winter. These two pieces of equipment add up to hundreds of dollars every month, and thousands over a full year. Turn down the knob and start saving each month. In the winter we keep our heat at 65 degrees and bundle up. We live in New York so we are used to freezing temperatures in the winter. In the summer we keep our air conditioner use to a minimum. Anytime we leave the house our NEST thermostat will automatically change to the “Away” setting so no energy is being used while we are away from the house.
- Line dry your clothes.
- Get rid of the drink cooler in the garage.
- Check the seal on your door.
- Clean the coils! Dirty coils can make your fridge run very inefficient, which can cause it to run twice as much to maintain a safe temperature for your food.
- Think about buying a more efficient refrigerator if yours is old.
- Switch out all your old light bulbs to LEDs. They will pay for themselves over time, plus they last much longer than your standard light bulb.
- Turn off your electronics when they are not in use. If your computer is always left on your using much more energy than if you put it to sleep.
- Change your settings on your gaming consoles. Many of these larger machines in your house (Xbox, DVR Box, TVs) all have “Power Saving Modes”. Check these out, they can save you a ton of money. It’s all about reducing your monthly bills and every little bit adds up!
- Change out your air filter on your furnace every 3 months. A clean air filter allows your furnace to run at a much more efficient level.
- Reduce your heater use in the winter.
- Insulate your attic and walls.
- Turn off all vents in rooms that you are not using on a regular basis.
- Insulate your water heater.
- Turn your water heater temperature down altogether. There is no need to pay for scalding water.
- Take colder showers.
- Take quick efficient showers….Brittany SMH.
- Install aerators on your faucets. This causes more air in your water and helps reduce the amount coming out.
- Get a front-loading efficiency washing machine.
- Run your dishes through your dish machine on “light” load.
- Turn off the faucet when you don’t need it on.
- Install a dual flush valve in your toilets.
- Put a two-liter bottle in your toilet tank to displace the amount of water used in each flush.
- Stop watering your lawn! All your neighbors have brown lawns just like you. Don’t waste your time trying to keep it green. It also keeps your gas bill down not having to run your lawn mower.
- Use a burn bin.
- Request a smaller trash can (if you think you need the big can, reduce your waste and recycle more).
- Ask for your waste service company to match a better deal you got in the mail.
- Take care of your cell phone and don’t upgrade your phone every year or two.
- Switch to a prepaid provider.
- Call and ask for a “loyalty discount” or any discount that will reduce your bill.
- Use a family plan.
- Buy a used phone on eBay, craigslist, amazon.
- Get a plan only for the things that you use.
- Switch to a new provider and take advantage of new customer pricing. Be careful they don’t skyrocket a year later. Do your research or you could end up increasing your bill over time instead of reducing it.
- Disconnect your home phone! If you still have one you are stuck in the early 2000’s. Unless you truly do not leave the house and don’t need a cell phone get rid of it. Total waste of money. Since our readers are millennials you can relate to that one person in your family that still has one and makes you shake your head.
- Use your online streaming services and get rid of your cable. Almost all TV shows are now streamed through Netflix and Hulu. You can always hook up a computer to your TV to watch other shows as well.
- Get a digital antenna to get all your local channels.
- Start watching youtube videos.
- Buy your own modem. They cost around $30-$40 on amazon and you will save $5 a month from your internet service provider. It will pay for itself in less than a year.
- Reduce your internet speed and lower your package if you can live with lower speeds. If you game, stream, etc you will need a faster speed. I suggest 10mbs.
- Call your service providers and ask for them to help you with a better price.
- Always shop around and get quotes from as many companies as possible.
- Increase your deductible, make sure you are willing to take the risk of paying more if an accident happens. We stick to our $500 deductible since our cars are used and not worth very much.
- Use the same insurance company for all your items needing insurance. You will get a multi-policy discount which can really add up in reducing your monthly bills. Also sticking with the same company for a few years you can start getting a “loyalty” discount. We use liberty mutual and love them!
- Use coupons.
- Plan out your meals.
- NEVER GO SHOPPING HUNGRY.
- Don’t bring your husband that LOVES food.
- Don’t buy name brand if other options are available.
- Always clean out your old food before going shopping.
- Put your expiring food near the front of the fridge so it gets eaten and not thrown out.
- Eat leftovers, they are excellent.
- Buy a house that you can afford! Don’t buy property you will struggle to pay for. Always live under your means. This is one of our biggest things living frugal and free.
- Negotiate for a lower rent rate.
- Refinance your mortgage if interest rates are much lower than when you first got your mortgage.
- Don’t ever pay for services you can do yourself. (Plumbing, cleaning, mowing). Youtube and Google have plenty of DYI fixes for anything that needs to be done around the house. Try it yourself before calling someone else and paying a crap load.
- BUY USED! I am sure you have heard this before, but the moment you drive a new car off the lot you already took a few hundred even a few thousand dollars off the top. Cars are some of the worst investments people make, especially millennials. This is an article all in itself so stay tuned!
- Avoid luxury brands.
- Follow your preventive maintenance program for your car. Read carefully because they normally have two programs and A and B. The difference depends on what type of conditions your car regularly drives in. The most short distance, dusty, salty rides the more frequent maintenance needs to be done, ie oil changes.
- Get one of your handy buddies to show you the ropes in car maintenance. You can save a fortune being able to do some on your own. I regularly do my own oil changes and brakes.
- Get a fuel efficient car.
- Walk or bike for short trips.
- Drive slower and don’t drive over the speed limit. Most cars are designed to run the most fuel efficient at 60mph. Anything over that you are wasting gas because of air drag.
- Don’t idol longer than 5 mins. Starting your car takes just as much gas as idling for 5 mins, so anything over 5 mins turns it off.
- Accelerate slowly and brake ahead of time. Any time you accelerate fast and brake early your wasting gas. No braking does not use gas but staying on the gas peddle longer without coasting does.
- Maintain your vehicle properly (tire pressure, air filter, oil changes)
- Do not buy premium gas unless you are using it in small engines machines (mower, jet ski, dirt bike, snow blower). If you can get ethanol free gasoline it’s worth the extra cost to run through your smaller engines. Much cheaper than having a major repair from the ethanol gumming up your engine parts.
- You’re donating so you get to pick how much you spend each month. We suggest you find a service or company that has a great cause that you can get behind. Make sure you do some research and that your money is getting used the way you want it to be.
- Pick a plan that you can handle paying each month, but know the impact of changing your plan. We recommend always paying off your student loans with the highest interest rate first, most companies will do this automatically.
- If you have low-interest rates 1-5% consider paying the minimum and investing the left of money that you would have put towards your loans. On average, the stock market provides a 7% return on invested money so you are better off having a balance between paying off your loans and investing. This is a large topic we will be posting about in the future. Check out Betterment or Robinhood, those are our two favorites! You can also find more resources on our Recommended page.
- Consider using your local high school or colleges if they offer a community plan. It can be a fraction of the price and really help you reduce your bill.
- Check your health insurance, some companies will provide you with a reimbursement for using your gym membership. It’s a win/win for everyone, you stay in shape and your insurance gets the benefit of you being healthy and not having to cover more medical bills.
- Have a makeshift home gym. Check out Craigslist or a garage sale for some used the equipment.
- Use your local high school or college track, it’s FREE!
- Run, bike, walk…..All FREE.
- Find out if your gym has a referral program. Get a few of your friends and family to sign up with you and you could land yourself up to a year for free.